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Swagbucks: An Online Loyalty Rewards Program – Review

As I’ve probably mentioned before, I’m really poor. That’s what happens when you quit your job and try to do any kind of freelance artistic work.

Recently, I’ve been looking for ways to get supplementary income that don’t involve retail and sadness, and as desperation kicks in, I’ve been looking at things like Amazon Mechanical Turks and online survey sites. One of the ones I’ve come across that offers surveys is Swagbucks.

Now you’ve probably gotten an e-mail from one of your friends at Swagbacks and written it off as spam, but there’s a reason it’s one of the fastest growing companies in LA: The points system is very diverse.

The surveys alone are really slow. Around 60 points a piece, you’d have to take 10 of them to get a $5 gift card. However, the contracts they have with retailers (point values often in the hundreds) are pretty impressive. For example, I needed a Macbook battery and was going to go to the Apple Store anyway. A week later I needed printer ink, and found they have a couple generic ink company contracts too. If I had an iPhone, I’d be downloading their advertised apps like crazy.

Now, there’s a lot of crappy loyalty programs out there. UPromise, for example, is awful. (As of 2008, the average member earned only $47 towards future college expenses.) I had a Borders Rewards card before they went under and you had do something like spend $100 before you got a coupon. But for this one, I got a StarBucks gift card pretty quickly just for buying stuff I already needed. They do PayPal cash deposits too for a little more.

Their Daily Deals sections is pretty decent also, including Froobi–I got a $10 earbuds/iPod charger combo there. So suck it, Groupon, I got Swagbucks.

They do point matching, so if you do decide to join, do me a favor and do it through the referral link?

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying my free Starbucks Lime Refresher.